Trump says FBI and Justice Department will review the Jussie Smollett case
President Donald Trump suggested early Thursday that two federal agencies will look into Cook County, Illinois, prosecutors' decision to dismiss the case against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.
"FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago," the president tweeted. "It is an embarrassment to our Nation!"
Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec and FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty each declined to comment.
The 16-count indictment stemmed from a January report about an attack on Smollett, a gay black man. Smollett was later charged with lying to police about the assault. He claimed that two men yelled homophobic and racist slurs and, Smollett said, shouted "this is MAGA country."
The State's Attorney's Office dismissed the case against the Fox actor Tuesday, sparking widespread confusion and anger.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, D, called the dismissal "a whitewash of justice," and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who has publicly spoken out against Smollett, said that a deal was "brokered" to "circumvent the judicial system."
In a statement Monday, Cook County State Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx had announced that dropping the charges against the actor was "a just disposition and appropriate resolution." Foxx recused herself from the case before charges were filed because she had spoken with a possible witness.
From the beginning, Chicago police confirmed that the FBI would be assisting in the investigation. Smollett had received a threatening letter at the "Empire" studio in Chicago. Federal law enforcement has jurisdiction over offenses committed by mail or through the U.S. Postal Service.
However, Trump's call to action appears to involve an unrelated review of prosecutorial discretion.
On Thursday, Smollett attorney Tina Glandian told NBC News that they "have nothing to be concerned about" because "nothing improper was done."
This article was written by Deanna Paul, a reporter for The Washington Post.